THIS REVIEW DOESN'T CONTAIN SPOILERS
Wow its finally here, and this review is mega late considering I saw it the Monday after it came out. Honestly I wasn't sure if I was going to review this film at all. I walked out of the theater in a weird place, never have my feelings for a movie been this perplexed. When asked about how I felt I initially said "I-I don't know". Let me clarify, I knew that I liked the movie, I knew that it was going to get a high score out of me, but as far as how it stacked up to the other films, well I just didn't know. So after taking a while to think about it, I now have my answer as to what I think about Episode VII.
When the title crawl started like every other Star Wars movie, I felt the nostalgia. The film's opening was pretty exciting, we got introduced to Kylo Ren and a lot of the film's main players. One place in the film where I had mixed feelings about as Kylo Ren. When he first appears on screen and for a good portion of the film he felt threatening and a total bad a**. However he started losing his sense of threat as the film went on even after one big moment that I won't spoil in case you haven't seen it, I still felt that he was a bit of a letdown. While that one shocking moment I mentioned earlier is still shocking and made me hate the guy, its just the fact that he's actually seen getting beat in this movie by our rookie heroes that sort of diminishes him a bit. This is also worked into the story a bit, its revealed he isn't fully trained yet but still, I feel he could've been a bit more.
His backstory is interesting he's sort of an unstable kid who idolizes Darth Vader but in certain scenes is a bad a** in his own right. Okay aside from my mixed feelings about the new bad guy, here are somethings I really enjoyed, the rest of the cast.
Finn in particular is one of my favorite characters now, he brought an infectious fun energy to the film he had a charming childish vibe to him during the action scenes plus the interactions between him and Han Solo are hilarious. There's another scene between him and the droid BB-8 which had me dying laughing and it will probably become a meme/GIF at some point. Rey is also a great character she reminded me of a combination of Leia, Luke, and a little bit of Han because of her piloting and blaster skills. She's tough but can also bring the heart to the film and I genuinely can't wait to see more of her character. In the next two episodes.
Now onto another thing that bothers me a bit but I understand that it was necessary, the film in a lot of ways feels like a remake of Episode IV: A New Hope, there are a ton of scenarios that mirror things we've seen in Episode IV. There is even a part where the film becomes a bit self aware about the fact the finale setup is very identical to Episode IV. I don't want to go into too much detail because of spoilers. I understand why they needed to do this because they're trying to get new people and long time fans back and this is a way to reintroduce us to Star Wars so it makes sense to reference the first movie but to someone who has watched them probably a hundred times it bothered me just a tad, nothing serious.
The final fight in the movie is decent, its not as a intense or as flashy as the lightsaber fights in the prequel trilogy. This made sense with the story but I hope in the later films the lightsaber duels become more like the ones in the prequels. Also sadly if you liked the music accompanying the lightsaber battles in the prequels and was expecting John Williams to go all out with a new memorable battle theme, you will be disappointed to hear that there is no music but the sounds of lightsaber on lightsaber. While this is a minor nitpick, I still think its worth mentioning.
The ending does end on a cliffhanger, and its a pretty big one that I won't spoil but you will be leaving the theater with more questions than answers. There are a ton of theories online about the ending and where we'll be going from here, I have a few myself but I'm not going to share them here.
So all in all this is a great film, does it live up to the enormous amount of hype it had? To be honest I purposely stayed away from the hype train on this movie, I was excited but cautiously excited. The only thing I did to get hyped for this film was re-watch the old ones in a marathon and then going to see it the next day. So I don't know if it lives up to the hype, is it a good movie, yes and if you like Star Wars, I have feeling you'll love this one.
That's it that's my review.
May the force be with you.